The Gaming Bucket List
“Where do we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go when we die?”… three questions to which Stephen Hawking probably knows the answers, but refuses to publish because he’s sick of being mocked by the masses for sounding like a smug Speak & Spell. Unless you happen to be remarkably good at playing Battleship, or have unlimited credit with the Hyperion Corporation, there isn’t much you can do to avoid death, but there are still steps to be taken to ensure that sucking in your final radiation-filled breath (I’m speculating, don’t worry) won’t go hand in hand with regret over missed opportunities. That’s why everyone should have their own bucket list – a collection of experiences or achievements they must fulfil before they die and, as gamers, it seems only fitting that we should have our own game-related bucket list.
Strictly speaking, the idea arose from those typical conversations which tend to go something along the lines of “I can’t believe you haven’t played [insert over-hyped game here]!! You NEED to play this game!” and which are generally met with embarrassed shrugs. While the majority of those conversations ultimately end up with you wasting time playing a boring pile of shite, such as ‘Left4Dead’ in my own personal experience or the dreadful ‘Hannah Montana: The Movie’ that I watched a friend playing, there will always be some long-forgotten gems that you know yourself you have to play, and which may actually change your entire outlook.
For this particular experiment, I asked other writers to select up to five games that they haven’t yet played but know that they must, for one reason or another. For those billionaire types such as Mark S, who can afford to buy every game as soon as it comes out, pulling together a list of unplayed-but-must-play games was nigh on impossible, while for others the difficulty lay in deciding on which titles to actually include. Not being a billionaire, and because I tend to play games with hundreds of hours of gameplay, I fell into the latter camp. In fact, my own list had to be whittled down from over thirty titles, and so honourable mentions should also go out to (in alphabetical order): Alan Wake, Assassin’s Creed, Bastion, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Braid, Diablo, Gothic, Half-Life, Hitman: Blood Money, Limbo, LittleBigPlanet, Pizza Tycoon, Portal 2, Rage, Resident Evil, Super Meat Boy, Syndicate, The Witcher and Tropico.
I’m pretty sure this needs no introduction nor an explanation of what it is, so I won’t bore you with the details. The reason I haven’t actually played it is because I got my Xbox 360 in the December of 2006 and was lucky enough to have been given Oblivion along with it. I tend not to play short games, and will invariably find more reasons to keep playing the same game when most have moved on to others, and that’s exactly what happened with BioShock. I downloaded the demo on Xbox Live and was mesmerised by the art style and just how beautifully it was handled. To this day I still remember being in the water, with pockets of flame dotted around, and wish I could go back to it. It’s one of those games that I wanted to play, got a taste for, but never found the time to venture back.
Quite why I haven’t played this is beyond me. I own it. In fact, I’m sure I own every Fallout game ever released and yet I’ve only ever played Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. Yes, I’m ‘one of those’ – the people who came to the Fallout franchise on the back of Bethesda’s first-person RPG and who many lovers of the Interplay originals hate. The odd thing is that my genres of choice all point to Fallout as being the perfect game for my tastes; the post-apocalyptic setting, having to weigh up the options before making any decision, the immersive quality… it’s like UFO: Enemy Unknown, but with more garbage strewn around.
Back before Peter Molyneux came up with the ground-breaking idea of getting millions of people to do nothing for hours on end in the hope of finding… well… something… he was a smart and innovative man who did actually change the way developers approached games. Bullfrog were innovators, and Populous was one of those games where the concept alone is met with looks of confusion and disbelief. Do nothing while the population naturally increases, and guide their growth using only weather and terrain manipulation… it’s an insanity-filled scotch egg with a deep fried coating of inspiration.
I’ve only owned this ground-breaking game by Magnetic Scrolls since Christmas, even though I’ve wanted to get my hands on it since I first saw it in advertised back in 1985. It wasn’t easy to get hold of, probably due to the number of people clambering over each other trying to get their hands on the most graphically-advanced game of its time, and so for years I would just yearn to play it. Now that I own a copy, all I need to do is dig into the ‘retro cupboard’ upstairs in the gaming room, get the Amiga 1200 out, find an RF cable and see if any of our portable TVs still work as blowing a 320×200 image up to fit a 1920×1080 HD TV probably won’t look very good.
The Secret of Monkey Island
So many people have recommended that I play this game; it’s ridiculous. They say that I’ll get a kick out of it, that it’s hilarious and full of my type of sarcasm. I honestly don’t think that I’ve ever heard a single person say a bad thing about The Secret of Monkey Island… but that’s not my main reason for wanting to play it. It’s mainly so I’ll be able to actually hold a conversation with you, Lorna and Tania without wondering what the fuck all this rubber chicken shite is all about.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
I’ve always been a fan of the Metal Gear series from afar; not being a PlayStation owner, I was at somewhat of a disadvantage when it came to the adventures of Solid Snake. Thanks to the GameCube and a borrowed PlayStation 2, I managed to crack Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. I was then urged by a few different people to play the third one. Despite being pretty bad at the first two, I was very much up for giving the third a crack. My general tactic for Metal Gear games was to map out an intricate plan of attack, approach phase one, accidentally roll into the guard, shoot him in the face with the loudest weapon I had and then run away, like a massive coward. It was either that or hear that old bloke scream “SNNNAKKEE” at me, like he was motherfucking Samuel L. Jackson on a motherfucking plane.
So I took everyone’s advice and played Metal Gear Solid 3: for about three minutes. The borrowed PlayStation 2 died, leaving me agitated, and that was in 2005. I’ve had numerous recommendations to return to this, alleged by most to be the best in the series, the most recent of which came from a bearded man in my office last week, who told me I should play it, and then went on to explain the series in great detail. I’ve heard people with beards can’t be trusted but he seemed to know his stuff, so its bumped it up the list, although I’ll be playing the other two first, partly so I can try and follow what the fuck is going on and because I’ll be doing Metal Gear Solid 4 after, so I might as well do the lot.
Silent Hill (Series)
I love scary games. I love the fact that I’ll purchase them, then deem them to be too scary and refuse to play them. Its a moronic logic, but it has served me well over the years and while I’ve never purchased any of the Silent Hill series, the very fear I get from what I hear about it stops me from purchasing it. From what I understand, you play a multitude of characters, all drawn to the mistiest fucking town in existence, for one reason or another. I think the second one has someone called James in it? Fuck it, its misty, and deformed horrors escaped from the local monster emporium come out to eat your face. Plus there isn’t any light or guns, and the cameraman comes from the Resident Evil school of stupid angles. So why is it on my bucket list? Well ignoring the later inputs to the series, the early stuff is renowned for being some pretty genre-defining stuff. People have been telling me for years, that you can’t say shit about the horror genre until you’ve played it. Sadly, they’re mostly console people and they haven’t visited Shalebridge Cradle or the corridors of the Von Braun, so they can lecture me on the horror genre when I’m able to lecture Ken Levine on how to write a story.
Shadow of The Colossus
There are some games that aren’t so much recommended by a few friends, but more universally recommended by the gaming community. Shadow of The Colossus is one such game, as I’ve yet to find a single person who can say a bad thing about it. Much like Snake Eater, I’ve actually played this, and do still own it, getting the high definition revamp last year as a birthday gift. I’ve actually played the first five minutes, on that horse, and then got a tad bored, because I wasn’t sure where to go or what to do. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve not gone back to it since and, like a starving man ignoring a steak, I can’t offer you a logical reason as to why I haven’t played it. Time and other games have certainly played a role in that particular riddle, but I suspect it had more to do with a need to actually explore a game, rather than being led by the hand and shown how you should be playing the game. Nevertheless, at least I actually own this, so I’ve got no real excuses for not doing this in the near future.
Final Fantasy VII
Oh god, here we go. Right, I’m a huge Legend of Zelda fan, and therefore I’m diametrically opposed to the notion that a Final Fantasy game could be any good. Alas, being the sort of person that has the (mis)fortune to speak to people on a daily basis, they all tell me that Final Fantasy VII is not only one of the best in the series, and that I’ll not only love it, but that its better than Ocarina of Time. When I finished beating these fucking heretics to death with my Cane of Somaria, I did give it a go, on the same PlayStation that died at the hands of Snake Eater. It was… not bad, I guess. Turn-based combat isn’t for everyone (my Advanced Wars tattoo has no bearing on this argument) but maybe I could learn to love this? Sadly, after blowing up some building, B.A. Baracus turned up, pitying the fool who didn’t have a chaingun for an arm, and then… and then I decided to play Metal Gear Solid, and if you need to know how that ended, please consult your doctor, as you may have short-term memory loss.
Even I’m shocked about this one. I absolutely love the Zelda series to bits, and I waited for Skyward Sword for what felt like an eternity. I fell in love with the world of Skyloft at first sight and, slightly-iffy control issues aside, it’s a strong contender for my Zelda top three, but I’m still not even remotely done with it. Completing it is a priority, but I don’t want to rush it; I want to spend days at a time in it, and I feel like if I rush through the second half of the story then I’m only going to ruin it for myself. All I need to do is shut myself away for a few days, turn off my phone and not leave until the credits roll. After all, why rush perfection?
I’ve always been fond of Mario’s alter-ego, the rotten, garlic-chomping Scrooge McDuck wannabe Wario. Since his early days butt-stomping his way through the Wario Land series I’ve been a massive fan of his anarchic style of platforming that seemed to encourage exploration more than his red-capped counterpart. However, a combination of never owning the GameCube (instead using the Wii to catch up on that generation) and Nintendo’s habit of releasing riskier titles with no fanfare and the bare minimum of available copies meant that I’ve never been able to get my hands on what turned out to be Wario’s only foray into third-dimension platforming, and one of his final lead roles before Nintendo re-appropriated him into their microgaming mascot with the Warioware series.
Disaster: Day of Crisis
Sometimes I’ll hear about a game approximately once, only for it to fall off the face of the Earth, and a weird part of me becomes intent on hunting them down. It’s the reason I own Hotel Dusk and its obscure sequel Last Window, the Ace Attorney spin-off starring Edgeworth, and Freshly Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland. One title I’ve been trying to hunt down in particular is Disaster: Day of Crisis; a Wii adventure revealed at E3 2006 which promised a so-bad-it’s-good romp filled with quick-time events, natural disasters and bears. It was eventually sent out to die and I’ve never seen it on a single store-front, but I’d like to own it and finish it just so I could join the single-digit figure number of people who ever did.
It looks like one of those titles that should have disappeared into obscurity save for the gaming equivalent of the Golden Razzies, but as soon as it started becoming a cult title I became enamoured with the idea of Deadly Premonition. A detective who talks to his split personality in front of other people only to garner no response from onlookers? Combining turkey, cereal and strawberry jam to make a “Sinner’s Sandwich”? Even if it turned out to be one of the worst things I’d ever played, I doubt I’d ever forget it.
Those Awful Philips CDi Zelda Games
It’s a story too delicious to forget, even for a Nintendo diehard like myself: Nintendo asked Sony to make a CD drive for the SNES, bailed out, asked Philips to make it and bailed on that, spawning the PlayStation and the dreadful Philips CD-i. Philips had the rights to make a couple of games based on iconic Nintendo franchises, and made Zelda games so terrible everyone prefers to think they don’t exist. One day, I’ll get to play them, it’ll be the worst experience ever, and I can’t wait.
Total War: Shogun
I’ve heard great things about this game and still continue to today. It sounds like a lot of fun, but there’s one really big problem that stops me from playing it: I’m really shit at strategy games. It’s when I feel I’ve bossed the ‘easy’ difficulty for long enough and decide to move on up to ‘normal’ that I remember my ineptness and I quickly lose interest. That said though, the Shogun series of Total War looks amazingly good, and it’s all samurais and shit, so I will, eventually, get round to playing one of them.
I’ve only ever played about thirty minutes of Half-Life 2 and this was when I borrowed The Orange Box from a friend a few years back. I spent most of my time playing Portal and Team Fortress 2, wanting to leave Half-Life alone until I eventually owned the game myself and could sink a proper amount of hours into it. I know that it’s seen as one of the best games of all time and has a huge following; it also apparently has some really cool easter eggs in it, which I’m really looking forward to.
Dawn of War 2
A while ago I was introduced to Dawn of War and, after a whirlwind romance, we settled in together to spend days massacring enemy armies and razing settlements to the ground. It was a joyous time, but the old girl did start getting a little long in the tooth. Enter Dawn of War 2, a younger, sexier model. Too sexy for me as it turns out, and far too power-hungry for my poor laptop. So it seems I’m stuck stealing wistful glances, with the forlorn hope that one day DoW2 will be mine.
This one is a little different, because I do actually own BioShock. I own both the first and second games in fact. The problem is, I just can’t quite bring myself to actually sit down and play them. I love a lot about what little I have played – the watery descent to Rapture, the retro-futuristic look and feel, and the sinister undertones of the place. I’ve also heard that there is one hell of a twist. The problem is that I simply don’t enjoy actually playing the game. I want to experience the whole of BioShock. Maybe someday I will.
Ever since I watched .hack, an anime about a virtual reality MMORPG, I’ve been entranced with the idea of virtual reality. I love the idea of being able to sit down and strap on a pair of ski goggles (seriously; that’s what they look like) that can take you to a completely different world. Imagine how magical it would be to be able to look around and see Skyrim not just on your TV set but actually in front of your eyes. I can’t think of anything better. It may not be a game, but it’s on my list just the same.
World of Warcraft
Given how much I normally eschew playing with others, WoW was a tough pick. It is one of those ground-breaking titles that has spawned countless player stories and memories that it’s lure has become hard to resist, even though it dominates a genre that is alien to me. Yes, the graphics are more cartoony than I would prefer and I know, given my obsessive personality, that it would consume my life at the drop of a hat, but I can’t help thinking that such a rich, long-lived universe deserves to be explored, even if only for a short time. Hell, even just to see that perverted inn that every WoW player talks about.
Metal Gear Solid (Series)
I’ve read a lot of people’s comments about these games, usually involving the name Snake being stretched out to improbable lengths. Jokes about barrels have gone over my head (get it?!) and it needs to end. As someone who enjoys stealth-action and good stories, how I have never played any game in the Metal Gear series is beyond me. Well, actually, it having been predominantly a PlayStation series for so long will perhaps exonerate me. Yes, it may come with cut-scenes that whose length could put most Hollywood flicks to shame, but something tells me that I’m missing out by never having experienced it.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
I’ll put my cards on the table and say now that I love Oblivion. It was the first huge modern RPG that I played and, furthermore, the first Xbox 360 game that I ever sat down to. It was actually the reason I wanted a 360 in the first place. Of course, you can’t go online without a billion people bickering over the Elder Scrolls series in extensive forum threads about which entry is better. Morrowind seems to have a very rabid following. It appears to have been the game that shaped the series, that paved the way for many modern RPGs and is, despite a criminal lack of fast-travel, the Daedra’s bollocks.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
I’ve never really played Link’s adventures, aside from a brief dabble with a GameBoy title way back, which I never finished. I have, however, owned many of them, which have just sat pretty on my shelf, including Ocarina of Time, acknowledged by many to be the series’ finest hour, and I’m ashamed to say that I sold it years ago (I can hear Ed’s heart breaking). Being that many gamers whom I respect speak so highly of it, I find that as the years progress and yet more unappealing Zelda titles are spewed out for the Wii etc., that I should go back and sample the series at its height.
Monkey Island II: LeChuck’s Revenge
This is where my list segues into shame, as a game that I have owned for years, in a genre I love, remains in my ‘to-play’ pile. Of all the ‘I’ll get around to it’ games, this is the pea of guilt beneath my stack of mattresses. I adored the first game, and even started the second, but never got far before getting distracted and then losing track of where I was, and which part of my ridiculous inventory was meant to do what. I still don’t know whether Le Chuck ever got his revenge… perhaps it was down to them transforming the graphics in subsequent titles into the sort that I dislike, or extending Guybrush’s chin to stupidly-vast proportions.
The GameCube, in my eyes, is the greatest game console ever made. It represents Nintendo actually trying new things with their franchises (and pissing off fans in the process, which is always good), coming up with new ideas (Pikmin!), and will always have some of my fondest memories attached to it. Sadly, I was still a young ‘un during the end of its lifetime, during which some of the more interesting games started coming out. Stuff like killer7 and Chibi Robo were only picked up by the few who clung to the console, myself included, but Geist slipped me by due to my being 14 years old and my parents being strict on buying me games out of my age range (I picked up killer7 later, before you ask). Geist was a first-person shooter that had you possessing inanimate objects to scare the shit out of people so you could then possess them, and do typical shooter stuff like, I dunno, kill people. It sounds like an awesome concept, but I’ve heard middling things about it and just never got round to picking it up.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
I have tried and failed to play this game so many times. For some reason, the Zelda genre has just never sat well with me. I absolutely loved Wind Waker, but none of the other titles have ever particularly grabbed me. Ocarina frequently comes up on all time greatest lists, and I have purchased it numerous times, yet never managed to get beyond a couple of hours of play before giving up to move on to something else. It does seem like a really interesting game, and I don’t know what it is that puts me off, but the ending has always escaped me. One day, I shall endeavour to sit down and finally finish it.
I love a game that tries something new, and I love a game that tries to put across emotions and stuff like that instead of just handing me a gun and telling me to kill (but don’t get me wrong, I love those too). Journey has won the hearts and awards to prove that it might just be that kind of game. After all, what’s not to love about walking places? Walk-em up’s are the future, I’m telling you. Just look at Dear Esther. Awards up the wazoo. Ok, I’m joking, but it still looks like a fascinating game. Why have I not played it? Cos there’s not a chance of me buying a PS3 for the singular purpose of playing a downloadable game. One day I’ll pester a PS3-owning friend to buy it for me.
Theme Park World ranks as one of my favourite games that took over a large part of my childhood, so I have long had an interest in playing Theme Hospital. I’ve heard nothing but great things about it, and after reading Chris’ “I Heart” article a while back, I became determined to play it. At some point. The kicker here is that I do actually own Theme Hospital – it’s waiting for me to download it from Good Old Games any day now. But I regularly forget it’s there, and I’m way too busy clearing through my backlog of 360 games to spend time on the PC.
Street Cleaning Simulator
Need I say more? Yes? Ok. Sims fascinate me – if you’ve read any of my reviews, you may wonder why that is, since I’m often so negative about them. Put simply, they’re the most inventive games available on the market. Yes, they’re quite often not very good, but they try new things, in new environments, without giving a fuck about who’s playing them or how much money they’ll make. You never hear about a sim dev complaining their game only shifted 3.4 million copies. It’ll have been made by a team of people who want to get across what it’s like to be a bus driver, or a street cleaner, or a demolition company. At least, that’s what I like to think. I want to play more of them (Street Cleaning Simulator is just an example) but there’s always a voice in the back of my mind saying “no, Ric, don’t do it, it’s not worth your time or money”.
X-Com (I’m sure he means UFO: Enemy Unknown – Ed)
Despite being the most-celebrated work of my favourite developer ever, Mr Julian Gollop, and being a direct sequel to the Rebelstar games (in all but name), I still haven’t played X-Com. Given that I’ll happily play Rebelstar II now some thirty years later and wouldn’t stop if my house was full of hungry wolves, my X-Com mental block is clearly indicative of some sort of hidden trauma. I even own the recent 360 remake which sits wrapped in cellophane. If I don’t sort that situation before my death, then the death was fucking well deserved.
Two Worlds II
Thanks to limited availability when it came out, Two Worlds II held it’s price for ages. Nowadays you can buy the digital version direct from your Xbox 360 for just fifteen quid. Which is something I really ought to do given that the first game was better than Skyrim by a factor of beleven*. Not that I’m expecting to give the sequel quite as much acclaim.
The original Syndicate is THE GREATEST THING OF ALL TIME and the sequel is held in high regard by everyone apart from me because I only played it once, on a PlayStation I think, before fucking it clean off. Probably deserves another shot though as it can’t be as bad as EA’s recent reboot can it?
Mass Effect 3
I loved Mass Effect 2 a lot but got scuppered in my Insanity playthrough (or whatever they called the hardest difficulty) and have been waiting to finish it (which, quite frankly, isn’t going to happen). I know Mass Effect 3 will be ace, and I’ve owned it since launch, but for some reason have been fucking around with all the worst games on XBLA instead, like some sort of imbecile.
If you’re going to court controversy, then don’t fuck about like Rockstar do. Get in there and be as offensive as possible. Not that it’s big or clever, but at least you’re not fannying about. Postal 2 was literally ridiculous when it came to the number of ways it gave you to appal you but it was fun. Flawed yes, but fun nonetheless. Apparently Postal III has been out for a while, but my PC can go fuck its mum right in her floppy drive so it’ll have to wait.
I’ve been in a lucky position to not have anything on a bucket list in terms of games already out in the ether. There is nothing I haven’t played that I regret missing out on to the point that I’d lament losing that window of opportunity.
There is, however, a game looming on the horizon that will require extreme expense in order to play properly. That would be the new Kickstarter-funded space adventure by none other than Chris Roberts, one half of Origin Systems (not to be confused with EA’s garbageware games platform!). As a younger person I played practically anything space-related that the Roberts brothers released, from the original Wing Commander through to Freelancer.
It would mean buying an up-to-date PC, swallowing my pride and actively supporting a game with multiplayer; trying to learn keyboard mappings and overly complex control systems after years of joypad reliance, not to mention running the risk of space sims not being quite the fun experience I remembered. Times change and people change but the excitement for an epic space opera with myself as the central role burns within me yet and I, for one, cannot wait to blast my way into space and once again lose myself in a futuristic world of space combat, exploration and heroism. I’ll carve my way through the stars dodging husks of ruined carriers, squeezing between asteroids and dog-fighting arch-nemeses whilst sending command controls out to wingmen that have my back – just like when I was younger. It may not be released yet, but it’s the only game on my bucket list as it will, hopefully, double as a method of time-travel allowing me to re-live the glory days of gaming before I kick said bucket-shaped container.
Metal Gear Solid
Or rather every numbered MGS game there is. To tell the truth, I’ve never played any of Hideo Kojima’s games. Not Snatcher, nor ZOE, but MGS is the one that the world is telling me I need to play, and you know what, I really want to. For someone who’s never played any of them, I consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable about the series. I know floppy-haired Raiden takes over from Snake approximately, ooh, five minutes into MGS 2, I know there’s a boss fight against a 100-year-old sniper in MGS 3 where, if you turn your console off for a week, he’ll die of old age, and I know there’s enough cutscenes in MGS 4 to warrant a dozen buckets of popcorn. What’s shocking is that I’ve had MGS 4 sitting unloved on my shelf pretty much since release, and the MGS HD Collection was a much-requested gift this Christmas just gone, so I have Peace Walker, the original Metal Gear and its sequel to boot too. And with MGS 5 now officially official, the rush to get them all finished is on. If you don’t hear from me until 2014, you’ll know why.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I did it with Oblivion, Fallout 3 and New Vegas, and I’ll do it again with Skyrim, and that’s wait for the coveted Game of the Year edition, complete with every piece of DLC at a (fingers crossed) budget price. At the moment I can’t even consider playing a game as vast as Skyrim for fear of plugging in more hours than I can spare. It’s frightening, which means the longer Bethesda hold off on the GOTY edition the better if you ask me. Once I’ve spent a year having finished every Metal Gear Solid, grown a beard (and probably a large stomach at the same time) and lost the ability to walk (partly thanks to the stomach), I might as well take another twelve months off to explore Tamriel’s northern region while I’m at it. And then, I might just be ready to die.
System Shock 2
I never have been, and probably never will be, a PC gamer, which also means that I never have and probably never will play System Shock 2. It’s a crying shame, because I rank spiritual-successor BioShock as one of my personal all-time greats, with BioShock Infinite set to share that honour, and I’m assured System Shock 2 is even better. An HD re-release is the only conceivable way I can think of that’ll finally allow me to play Ken Levine’s masterpiece, but there’s more chance of me finding a floating city in the sky. System Shock 3, however, may still happen…
Barring maybe about five minutes of Deadly Shadows, I’ve never played a Thief game for the same reasons I’ve never played System Shock 2. The PC-centric stealth series has, rather fittingly, always managed to elude me, even when it arrived on XBOX, meaning I’ve never experienced one of the creepiest levels in gaming ever – Jordan Thomas’s The Cradle. There’s a slim chance I may get around to judging The Cradle’s spook-factor myself one day, but if it wasn’t for Eidos Montreal’s upcoming reboot, the series would likely remain on my gaming bucket list until I kick said bucket.
Be honest. Neither you nor I have ever played Ōkami, not when it hit the PS2 in 2006, the Wii in 2008, nor PSN in its luscious HD guise last year. Releasing to overwhelmingly-positive critical acclaim when released, you’ll regularly find Ōkami at the higher end in many Top 100 Games lists, with some claiming it even manages to out-Zelda Zelda. But it wasn’t enough to save the game because nobody bought it, leading to the closure of developer Clover Studio, and made me feel so shitty because of it. I’ve since personally amended that mistake by purchasing the HD update, but it’s still sitting on my PS3’s hard drive unplayed. If you ask me, PS Vita or even 3DS is the perfect home for this under-appreciated gem, using the touch screens to control the Celestial Brush to bring the cel-shaded world back to life.
So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen… the GamingLives team is all-too-aware that time is our greatest enemy and apathy its ally. When asked which games we should be playing, we always seem to be able to answer without much hesitation, and yet those elusive titles somehow find themselves on the shelf for years to come while other, perhaps shinier, games nudge their way to the head of the queue pretending to know the guy running the party. There are only so many times you can slip a twenty into the palm of the shaved ape with one hand on the red cord, however, so it’ll be interesting to see if anyone ever manages to strike a game from their list, and whether it lived up to their expectations.
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